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travel Insurance & Vaccinations 

It’s important to be safe when you’re travelling and getting the right vaccinations is one of the most important pre-travel things you can do. Additionally, if something happens to you overseas and it’s because you didn’t get the appropriate vaccinations, this could reduce or invalidate your claim.

Why you need vaccinations

Every year many Kiwis die overseas - and illness is a leading cause.

While travelling is an incredible experience, in also means exposure to different physical and environmental conditions, including limited access to clean water, medical care and lower sanitation levels. Due to these different conditions, travellers are more susceptible to various infectious diseases.

Luckily, many of these diseases can be vaccinated against, and if you’re vaccinated, and you take due care, your overseas holiday is much more likely to be a safe and pleasant one.

Keep reading to find out what you need to know about travel insurance and vaccinations.

*Please note, that this general advice only. Please consult a medical professional for up to date and accurate information.




Common Diseases

Below is a table with common diseases and some information about the vaccinations associated with them. This is general only and is not intended as medical advice. Consult your doctor or medical professional for the most accurate, up to date information.

Disease Vaccination

Hepatitis B

A serious liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus.There are several hepatitis B vaccines. There is also a combination vaccine that provides protection for both hepatitis B and hepatitis A. Studies show that the hepatitis B vaccination lasts a lifetime.


A very contagious, viral infection that spreads easily between people. The vaccine is administered by injection, and new versions are constantly developed as the influenza virus is always changing. The flu vaccination can last up to a year.


A life-threatening blood disease that is spread to people through mosquitoes. Currently there is no vaccine available for malaria, but if you speak to your doctor, they may have advice on malaria prevention drugs and drugs for treatment if malaria develops.


A deadly virus that attacks the brain and nervous system, transmitted by rabies-infected animals. The vaccine is injected and is given in three doses. Booster doses of the vaccine may be needed.

Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE)​

An illness caused by a virus spread through tick bites. It occurs in Europe and you can get it by consuming unpasteurized dairy products. The vaccine is not available on a general script, but is available through specialised travel medicine clinics. Two injections can protect you for about a year.


An infectious bacterial fever that might result in red spots on the chest and abdomen, and can also cause severe intestinal irritation.The vaccination could be given as an injection, or as three capsules to be taken on alternate days. The injection vaccinate you for up to 3 years whereas the capsules may differ.

Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis/Whooping cough

Tetanus causes painful muscle tightening and stiffness, usually all over the body. Diptheria can cause a thick coating to form in the back of the throat and ead to breathing problems and death.Pertussis is a severe cough that can cause trouble breathing. The vaccine for all three is called the dTpa vaccine. It’s given once, but booster shots may be necessary.

Pneumococcal and Meningococcal meningitis ​

Both pneumococcal meningitis and meningococcal meningitis cause inflammation of the lining around the brain and spinal cord. Vaccines could last three to five years.

Poliomyelitis/Polio ​

A virus that destroys nerve cells in the spinal cord and can cause paralysis. The polio vaccine is common in New Zealand and most people were vaccinated as children. Booster shots may be required.

Cholera ​

A deadly bacterial infection causing severe diarrhoea, vomiting and dehydration.
The cholera vaccine is an oral liquid taken in two doses between one and six weeks apart. The vaccine for adults could last up to two years.

Japanese Encephalitis​

An infection found in Asia and the west Pacific that can cause brain swelling.The vaccine is injected and people generally need two doses. The duration of protection isn’t known.


A bacterial disease that’s infectious and mainly affects the lungs. Studies show the vaccine lasts around 15 years.

Yellow fever

A viral infection spread by a particular species of mosquito. Vaccination is strongly recommended for travellers who intend to travel to countries where you could get yellow-fever. Generally the vaccine is only needed once, although booster shots might be necessary.

Common Destinations that require Vaccines 

The following is a brief guide on some common destinations for 1Cover travellers and some information on vaccinations for for each of them. This is not an exhaustive list, and it’s important that you thoroughly research all the countries you’re travelling to.

Country Vaccinations required


Recommended vaccines include Hepatitis A and B, influenza and typhoid. For certain areas, you may need other vaccinations, so please consult your doctor.

Find out about travel insurance for Bali.


For certain parts of Brazil, you may need a yellow fever vaccine. Malaria vaccination is generally not necessary but check with your doctor.


Hepatitis A and B, typhoid, and influenza vaccines are recommended, but Japanese encephalitis could also be a risk. Consult your doctor.


Hepatitis A, influenza and possibly typhoid vaccinations  are recommended but your doctor could also recommend rabies, Japanese and tick-borne encephalitis and cholera.

You can also find out about travel insurance for China.


Hepatitis A & B and influenza are recommended and your doctor may recommend typhoid vaccinations for certain areas. Find out about travel insurance for Fiji.


Anti-malaria drugs are often recommended, and your doctor may recommend other diseases like rabies and Japanese encephalitis.


Tetanus, Hepatitis A, and typhoid are generally recommended


Hepatitis A and B as well as typhoid and influenza vaccinations could be recommended for Thailand, even though the country is generally lower risk. Speak to your doctor for more information.

Find out about travel insurance for Thailand.


Hepatitis A and B, typhoid and influenza vaccinations may be recommended for Vietnam.

Getting Vaccinations

Getting a jab before a holiday is usually last on your to-do list. But if you don’t, it could make things difficult when you arrive. Here’s a list of things to remember:

  • Check the websites of the embassies and consulates of the coutries you're intending to visit. Some countries require proof of vaccination for some conditions before you're allowed entry.
  • Make an appointment with your doctor at least eight weeks before you leave to discuss any health risks associated with the country you're travelling to. Don’t forget to bring your itinerary with you.
  • Compare vaccine costs to get the best deal. Once you have the advice of your doctor, see where you can get the best deal. Vaccines are available at doctor’s clinics, but also specialist travel medicine clinics, hospitals and pharmacies.
  • Forgotten what you’ve been immunised for? It’s possible to find out by getting a serology report, which is a test that examines blood serum for active antibodies.

Travel Tips So You don't get sick

NOTE: This is general information only and is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for specific, up to date, and accurate advice.

  • Don't rely on vaccines Jabs are effective against disease, but they’re not fool proof. If you really want to reduce your health risk, practice the safety advice in this guide.
  • Mosquito repellent should be used at all times, and should contain the active ingredient DEET or Picaridin. Extend coverage to your feet, hands, ears, back of the neck and behind the knees.
  • Avoid mosquito bites by wearing light, loose fitting clothing that covers your arms and legs, staying in fully screened accommodation, regularly applying insect repellent and avoiding perfume or cologne, which can attract mosquitoes.
  • Avoid the risk of rabies by not feeding or petting dogs, monkeys, bats or any warm-blooded animals when travelling in foreign countries.
  • Tattoos can seem like a good idea on holiday, but they can also lead to hepatitis. In non-sterile environments, tattoo needles are a high-risk vector for disease.
  • Unprotected sexual activity is also high-risk behaviour,and travellers should be aware of these risks and prepare accordingly. Carrying and using condoms is the best way to protect yourself from chlamydia, gonorrhoea, HIV/AIDS, syphilis, HPV and Hepatitis.
  • When you return home,be conscious of the fact that some diseases take days or weeks to incubate and present symptoms. If you feel unwell within the first few weeks of returning home, make sure you go to the doctor.



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Vaccination Related FAQs

  • How long before I travel should I get vaccinated?
  • It’s always a good idea to go see your doctor regarding vaccinations once you’ve finalised your travel plans. Some vaccinations can be administered at any time before your trip, whereas others may need to be done at a specific time before you depart. Ideally you want to know well in advance so you don’t miss your opportunity for optimum vaccination. Having the optimum vaccination means you don’t jeopardise your health or your travel insurance.

  • Should I get vaccinated before I get travel insurance?
  • Generally, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re up to date on your general vaccinations/immunisations, and your doctor can advise you on this. You don’t have to be vaccinated before you purchase your travel insurance, but it is recommended that you have the appropriate vaccinations, because if you become sick and it's because you didn't get vaccinated, we may reduce the amount of your claim or it could invalidate your claim.  

  • What if I don’t get vaccinated and I get sick? Will insurance cover me?
  • If you did not get the recommended vaccinations for your destinations and your sickness is related to this, it could potentially reduce the amount of your claim or it could invalidate your claim.

  • Are vaccinations compulsory for travel insurance?
  • Vaccinations are not compulsory but are highly recommend to help reduce the risk of known disease in the countries you are travelling to. If you do not have the appropriate recommended vaccinations and become sick we may reduce the amount of your claim or it could invalidate your claim.  

  • Do I need to tell you if I’m vaccinated or not?
  • You do not need to tell us about your vaccinations at the time of purchasing your policy, but you may need to provide evidence that you had the relevant vaccination if you contract a disease that required a vaccination. 



One Last Thing: Handy resources 

The World Health Organisation has a wealth of information on health and travel. Find out all the latest reports and scientific information on vaccines.

If you’re not sure what vaccines your child have received, you can request an immunisation history statement from the national registers.immunisation history

Be informed. Be prepared. Visit the New Zealand Government's Safe Travel website, where you'll have all the latest vaccination information for your next trip.

IAMAT are a non-profit organization who help travellers plan a healthy trip, and connect travellers with reputable English -speaking doctors. They are a useful point of contact if you haven any complications arise on your trip.

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